The Weekly #020 – South Korean Strangers

Another week in South Korea, and potentially one of the best weeks traveling I’ve had so far.

One of the best things about traveling is the people you meet, and the kindest that strangers can show. This week was an exception because of many strangers. Willing to show this big, dumb, Welshman around their city and let them into their home and their culture.

South Korea is an amazing place, and Seoul is a fascinating capital city, but I was excited to leave and to see more of South Korea.

Sena, who I met in Thailand months ago, was kind enough to offer me into her home and wanted to show me around some of the sights in Gyeongju.

After boarding my first bullet train from Seoul, we made it to Gyeongju.

A city in the South East of Korea, and one draped in history and culture.

Sena (Ivy) and her Aunt

I was fortunate enough to meet Sena (Ivy) in a hostel in Thailand and we kept in touch as I had plans to visit South Korea.

What I didn’t expect is the love, kindness, and generosity she would end up showing me. Introducing me to her Aunty, who was equally as wonderful.

Aunty is a historian and a guide. Filled to the brim with knowledge and more kindness than I have ever seen one person possess. For 3 straight days, she guided me around Gyeongju, fed me when Sena told her I hadn’t eaten, and I will forever be in their debt for the kindness and generosity they showed me during my time with them.

Despite not speaking much English, and my Korean is yet to develop, Sena’s Aunt showed me around through the power of google translate, body language, smiles, and laughter. There wasn’t a moment of awkwardness and I had the best time learning about the wonderful history that Gyeongju is famous for.

I hope one day to repay the kindness and generosity and hope that Sena can come to Wales so that I can show her my own country and make her Aunt proud.

Heading back to Seoul

Having missed a few things off of the list when in Seoul, it was time to head back and get them ticked off.

First, and most importantly was the DMZ.

The De-Milatrized Zone is the no-war zone that divides North and South Korea. I think most people are fascinated by North Korea and its ways of living and how a country so beautiful has been scarred so badly.

Visiting the DMZ gives a small glimpse into what life was like before the Korean War began and before many lives were lost, and families separated.

Despite there being an agreement of peace and no war. So far the South Koreans have found 4 tunnels dug by the North Koreans in the hope of a blind invasion. One such tunnel was big, and wide, enough to fit 30,000 armed troops and armed vehicles through in just one hour.

Music used to play in the DMZ, but now it is eerily quiet.

South Korean speakers face the North, and they tell the news of recent affairs, politics, weather, etc. Whereas North Korean speakers, also face the North. But their speakers reinforce that North Korea is the best country in the world, the most prosperous and that their leader is the most powerful.

Sad. Frightening. Crazy.

What a life beyond the border, and only people who have defected from North Korea could ever explain what life is truly like.

The public transport in Korea is wildly good. Inexpensive, fast, and always on time. A stark contrast to the UK.

Bullet trains leave at multiple points per hour and can go across the country in less than 3 hours, covering 450km in that short time.

Finally getting used to the subway system meant that Seoul was much easier to travel around. Without having to do 35k steps per day just to get about.

Monk Mode Week 7

If you’re unfamiliar with Monk Mode it’s basically 90 days of trying to commit to the following:

– Create a video every day
– Write an article everyday
– Run 1 mile every day

Creation not Consumption

I’ve switched from creating travel videos to going back to fitness content and I am enjoying the transition. Batch-producing content should be easier to do soon, and I am hoping to up the video production as I feel my time management and efficiency are getting better.

Writing daily

Writing is getting more difficult because I’ve chewed up the topics and caught up with everything I thought I needed to do.

It’s going to take a bit of creativity to get blogs out there over the second half of Monk Mode, but I am confident I can do it.

Blog Views: 70

One Mile a Day

Running is 10x easier when the weather is cooler. Although the only struggles for running is leaving things late and running on a full stomach.

I am enjoying running, and when I can finally get some new trainers, I’ll look to increase some miles in the legs. Fitness wise I am feeling strong and fit, just with a knee like chocolate.

Running Totals: 13km

The next adventure…

Heading back south to explore Busan, the surrounding mountains and islands and hopefully fly to Jeju to climb South Korea’s biggest mountain.

Let’s see if the weather plays ball.

Till next time.

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